Fare Share Food Bank


The Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank was created in the mid-1980s to fulfill a “temporary” need in the community shaken by recession, job loss and multiple industry closures. Since that time there have been five very trying economic disruptions.

Thirty years later, Fare Share’s doors are still open and that original need has multiplied, with 1,700 people currently seeking assistance from the food bank each month.

FSFB-30th-ID-FINALWhat Limelight discovered at Fare Share was a committed volunteer crew working without compensation, investing not just their time, but also their own resources to deliver this critical support service. Some volunteers had been there for more than 20 years–people who join in to help seem to stay. But the saddest news was the bank balance and quantity of food on the shelves. In 2009 only 8.8lbs of food was distributed twice monthly–hardly a sustainable proposition for needy families. 

With a, seemingly overnight, 22 per cent growth in need, Fare Share required immediate recognition to develop awareness and increase both monetary and food donations. Limelight worked to reposition the service, created a new corporate identity and brand system, create campaigns that worked to inform a rather confused public of the need. The board of the day was in utter disbelief that much more could be done. A “dream list” was developed with a scale at the top of the list. Of all the things that the food banks could use the executive director wanted to measure the amount of food coming in, the spoils that had to be thrown out and the remaining food that made it to the clients. In creating the dream list we soon discovered that the food banks relied on personal vehicles to move food from distribution points to the food banks. 

The first campaign, we felt had to be prove to the board that there was a community that was behind all their efforts. Within 2 months of working with Fare Share Limelight was able to deliver a service van. It was delivered fully wrapped with the new identity and a host of sponsors that made this gift possible. Since that time the board has been reconstituted, scales installed, new refrigeration units installed, a war chest created, month-to-month operations budgets met or exceeded and best of all an increase from 8.8lbs per person per month to 38lbs per person per month, plus 4 litres of fresh milk, fresh produce and occasionally meat.

Campaigns have been created maintaining the brand standard, and while the pressure has started to subside, food and operations donations have increased creating some rather interesting side-effects.

Fare Share not only receives a tremendous amount of volunteer inquiries but the food has also increased in both quality and quantity. The range of food products is as diverse as ever and the bank is receiving inquiries from the US and Canada as to how they are so successful — possibly the most significant accolade yet.

In the food bank business Limelight’s work is far from over as we now work to update and upgrade the website and run new campaign to HELP FEED OUR NEIGHBOURS.


Please donate to a food bank in your area today and if you care to – donate to www.fareshare.ca.


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